Write What You Know From Your Heart

Judy Church  is a recorded songwriter, performing artist, musician that plays a number of instruments, producer, composer, arranger, and music educator.  She has led music workshops, worked many years part time, and full time as a music director in a number of  churches, and has led praise and worship in a number of churches and conferences.


I recently received an e-mail from a friend bringing up an idea in the world of songwriting called, "Write What You Know From Your Heart". Thinking along those terms in my mind I just had to share  with you my thoughts on this with my own experiences. It took me a while to figure out that the key to my success as a songwriter would be in writing music and lyrics that moved me very deeply. When I wrote what was important or significant to me, I ended up with a product I was very happy with and an experience that moved my listeners. My most successful songs are those where I become the character, I step into the emotions of the singer in creating that piece. I project how I would feel, move, think, and be in the situation I present in the song. That’s quite a vulnerable expression and takes some level of venturesome planning. More than that, it takes a level of honesty, revealing some intimate emotions I might only share with my close friends. But that’s the power of music, isn’t it? It connects us at our deepest fibers where we may be uncomfortable connecting any other way. This is where the idea of ‘Write What You Know From Your Heart' comes into play.  It’s the writer who draws from his/her own experiences giving that theme believability. At least that’s how I see it.

When I write, lyrics are a very important part of my songs. Relationships are a common theme in my lyrics. That’s not to say that I often write gospel, love songs, jazz, wedding songs, or sad or happy songs, but to say that the themes I tend to know about revolves around personal connection I feel strongly about.  It is an extension of what I value in life. In this sense, every song I write is deeply personal. Whether it’s an expression of an actual event, something imagined, or something personal that happened. Another idea is to write what you WANT to know, and soon enough, it'll be what you DO know.

Think about your own life and what you hold close to you that is so dear to your heart. What do you know a lot about? If you work a day-job, immerse yourself in hobbies, give your time, money, your resources to organizations you care about, how do those feed into the perspective with which you see the world? Don't be afraid to venture out and try new things because practice in writing skills is what it is all about.  Write from the perspective that you see and feel, creating connection from where you are now.  Recognizing the extraordinary in the ordinary has sent thousands of songs to the top of the charts – and touching many peoples' hearts and inner souls. God has placed a burden inside of me to minister to those who are hurting through my music.

I sincerely hope you find the courage you need to write what you know from your heart. I truly believe that as writers we share the most valuable part of ourselves when we write from a place of true experience. The audience can feel our sincere honesty – just as they can feel us withholding the truth, or holding back. Begin to believe that you don’t need to become someone else to the audience other than who you are now. Write what you know from your heart, because no one knows it better than you. 

Musically Yours,
~ Judy Church ~

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